“No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them.”

MOXIECOSMOS SAYS . . .

Aldo Leopold has been on my mind, and although it is two months early for this particular quote attributed to him, it fits the way we observed Easter weekend, April 2-5.

“In June as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day. No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them.”

The famous conservationist, forester, philosopher, and educator is best known by The Sand County Almanac, written after he became the chair of the first ever department of game management, established at The University of Wisconsin.

This all happened in the 1920s and 30s, when the natural landscape was losing the battle with agriculture.  The Leopold family made their “shack” on the Wisconsin River near Baraboo an ecological restoration experiment, where changes in flora and fauna were documented, pine trees planted, and prairie lands restored.

There’s a Florida connection, because Baraboo was the home of the Ringling Brothers Circus, and in the winter of 1927, John Ringling moved “The Greatest Show on Earth.” to 200 acres west of Sarasota, not far from the fictional Dorado Bay.

But there’s an Arizona connection, too, because it was here and in New Mexico that Leopold began his career in forestry.  He, John Muir and others are responsible for a powerful interest in preserving patches of the natural and native habitats in the Southwest.

Saturday, we went to the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, a 145 acre “ecological restoration experiment” and a thrilling display of wildflower “anniversaries.”  The Arizona version of “The Greatest Show on Earth” came early this year due to extraordinary rainfall.

Desert Cathedral

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